Bill Owens is a Director at an international law firm with offices in 44 cities across the U.S., Europe and Asia. He serves on the board of directors of Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE) where he is Chairman of the Governance and Sustainability Committee.
Owens served as Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Governance/Compensation Committee of the Credit Bank of Moscow, a $50 billion (assets) bank which is Russia’s sixth largest bank and is the second largest investor-owned bank in Russia, until February 2022, when he resigned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Owens represented private investors (including the World Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development) on the Board from 2012 to 2022 and was elected Chair in 2013.
He previously served on the boards of HighPoint Resources Corporation (NYSE), Key Energy Services (NYSE), and Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE), as well as a number of private and portfolio boards. Owens also served five years on the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Strategy Committee of the Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO), a Russian railroad and port company, which was listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange. FESCO is Russia’s largest transport and logistics company, with a fleet of thirty container vessels, tens of thousands of rail cars, and operates the commercial ports of St. Petersburg and Vladivostok. Owens represented private investors on the FESCO Board, including the World Bank and the European Bank of Construction and Development.
Owens served two terms as Governor of Colorado, from 1999-2007 and was re-elected by the largest margin in Colorado history. During his two terms, Owens was committed to improving Colorado’s transportation infrastructure, reforming education, and lowering the tax burden for families and businesses.
Gov. Owens’ commitment to pro-jobs fiscal policies helped Colorado weather the post-9/11 economic downturn that hit Colorado hard – troubles that were intensified by the state’s worst drought in 300 years. The Governor managed the state during a time when revenues declined 16 percent compounded by a $950 million deficit he inherited when he took office in 1999. Under his leadership, TREX – one of the largest road/rail transportation projects in U.S. history – was authorized and built, on time and on budget.
Owens – called “The Best Governor in America” in a cover story in National Review was elected by his colleagues to serve as Chair of both the Western Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association. Owens was a frequent participant in the national policy debate, appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, Bill O’Reilly, Hannity & Colmes, Hardball, the Wall Street Journal Report and Lou Dobbs.
Prior to his election as Governor, Owens served as State Treasurer for four years where he was responsible for the management of a $4 billion portfolio. He also served on the board of Colorado’s $25 billion pension fund – the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). Owens also served in the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado State Senate.
Owens has been a student of the Soviet Union and Russia since the 1980’s. He was active with People to People International, leading groups to the Soviet Union and Russia in the 1980’s and 1990’s, briefing the participants on Russian politics, history, and economics. He has been a guest lecturer at Moscow State University; Russia New University (Moscow); Kazan State University in Tatarstan and the Kazakh-British Technical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He has addressed the Kazakh Senate in Astana, Kazakhstan and keynoted RAND’s US/Russia Business Forum in Moscow. He has travelled extensively in Russia and the CIS and is a frequent lecturer on Russia within the U.S.
Owens also led two delegations to China, as well as other missions and/or official visits to Japan, Ireland, Chile, Argentina, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, UK and Tatarstan.
Owens hosted many international leaders in Colorado as part of his effort to increase international trade and understanding, including a state visit to Colorado by Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.
Owens served as non-executive Vice Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland (Global Banking and Markets), on the consulting staff of the Big Eight firm of Touche Ross & Co. (today’s Deloitte) as well as with the Gates Corporation, and as director of a statewide trade association.
Owens graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Science and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas, where he was awarded a two-year fellowship.